New BMW M5 gets 4WD
BMW has found the tipping point where too much power is, literally, too much power.
The German brand has revealed initial details of its next-generation M5 sedan ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show later in 2017, including confirmation that it will come fitted with a standard all-wheel drive for the first time.
In a move that mirrors its chief rival, the Mercedes-AMG E63, BMW recognises the adoption of all-paw traction was required to improve performance, although it has yet to confirm exactly how much faster, or more powerful, the new M5 will be when it goes on-sale.
It has said the M xDrive transmission is a unique development from the high-performance division that can be tailored through multiple all-wheel drive settings or revert to the traditional rear-drive configuration for maximum driver engagement.
"As a result, the new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy on both the race track and the open road - and in various weather conditions, too," said BMW M boss Frank van Meel.
The G30 M5 will be powered by an upgraded version of the existing car's 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that BMW says will produce more power and torque without revealing final outputs thanks to modifications such a increasing the pressure of the fuel injection system, improving lubrication for lower internal friction levels, the fitment of new turbo chargers and a lighter exhaust system which it says produces a better soundtrack.
The other significant change is the move away from a dual-clutch gearbox to a more conventional eight-speed automatic with a torque converter. While BMW says that it still offers the choice of shift programs, as well as the option of changing gears manually via steering wheel shift paddles, it concedes the adoption of an traditional auto "forms part of a new, finely honed overall package that turns the BMW M5 into a high-performance sedan offering genuine everyday practicality, and also resolves the apparent contradiction between sportiness and comfort."
Despite keeping the key figures under a cloak for now, it has confirmed the M5 will be more efficient than before with a lower claimed average fuel consumption of 10.5L/100km.
It will also be significantly quicker too - with the potential to match the E63's ability to sprint from 0-100kmh in 3.4 seconds - with BMW attributing most of its accelerative improvements to the added traction offered by the all-wheel drive system and the wider spread of gear ratios within the eight-speed gearbox.
Full details of the 2018 BMW M5 will be revealed closer to its public debut ahead of the Frankfurt motor show in September.